Preparing a Home for Someone With Alzheimer’s Disease
By Caring.com Staff
Excerpted from The Comfort of Home: A Complete Guide for CaregiversTM
Your goal in adapting the home for a person with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is to keep the surroundings as familiar as possible, while making the changes necessary to create a home that is calming, reassuring, safe, and supportive. This will make it possible for the person with dementia to be as independent as possible and for you to provide care as it is needed.
Creating a Safe Home Environment
Creating a safe home environment for a person with Alzheimer’s disease requires changes that would be made for any older person, but you should also consider any physical or mental disabilities he or she has that are unique to Alzheimer’s disease and try to plan ahead for future difficulties.
The environment should be suitable or right for the symptoms of the disease, which include:
- Memory loss
- Confusion about where he is
- Confusion about how to get to or find a particular room
- Decreased judgment
- Tendency to wander
- Poor impulse control
- Changes in vision, hearing, depth perception
- Sensitivity to changes in temperature
You can’t predict every need that will come along. Alzheimer’s disease symptoms get worse as time goes on. In the early stage it causes mostly thinking (cognitive) difficulties.
Eventually it causes physical decline as well. In the late or severe stage, the loss of abilities such as walking has a major effect on how much care will be needed. Features of the home, such as steps and narrow bathroom doors, can become major obstacles to providing care.
Alzheimer’s home care counselors at Andelcare are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Andelcare is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s Home Care in Seattle WA and surrounding communities.